Blogs and opinion pieces
Ghana's e-levy is unfair to the poor and misses its revenue target: A lesson in mobile money tax design, The Conversation, 27 March 2023. With Nana Akua Anyidoho, Max Gallien and Mike Rogan.
Tunisia: Why taxing the informal economy will not boost the country's finances/ Tunisie: taxer l'économie informelle ne permettra pas de redresser les finances du pays, Middle East Eye, 10 November 2022. With Max Gallien.
New data on the e-levy in Ghana: Unpopular tax on mobile money transfers is hitting the poor hard, The Conversation/ Citi NewsRoom/ Graphic Online/ Modern Ghana/ allAfrica, 18 September 2022. With Nana Akua Anyidoho, Max Gallien and Mike Rogan.
Gendered geographies and vaccine hesitancy among informal workers, Pakistan's Growth Story, 16 June 2022. With Max Gallien, Umair Javed and Shandana Khan Mohmand.
Why do armed groups tax? It's not just about the money/ Pourquoi les groupes armés imposent-ils des taxes? Leurs motifs ne sont pas seulement pécuniers, ICTD, 30 March 2022. With Tanya Bandula-Irwin, Max Gallien, Ashley Jackson and Florian Weigand.
Citizens of fragile states can fund public services directly — it's working in Somalia, The Conversation/ allAfrica, 12 November 2021.
The World Bank and IMF are using flawed logic in their quest to do away with the informal sector / La Banque mondiale et le FMI utilisent une logique erronée dans leur tentative d'élimination du secteur informel, The Conversation/ Down to Earth (India)/ Quartz/ Moneyweb, 7 November 2021. With Mike Rogan and Max Gallien.
New evidence from Somalia points to effective ways to deliver public services in conflict-affected and fragile contexts, Africa Portal, 22 October 2021.
Les Marocains accepteraient-ils un fonds d'État pour la zakat? / Would Moroccans accept a state zakat fund? Should they? Medias 24, 22 October 2021. With Max Gallien, Umair Javed, and Soukayna Remmal.
Women don't value their own work, India Development Review, 17 December 2020. With Aiman Haque and Max Gallien.
The inequity of informal financing of public education in Sierra Leone, ICTD, 27 November 2020.
Building coalitions to promote equitable taxation beyond the Covid era, ICTD and the International Budget Partnership, 7 July 2020. With Jason Lakin and Paolo de Renzio.
How can civil society help to achieve more equitable and accountable tax systems? / En quoi la société civile peut-elle contribuer à la mise en place de systèmes fiscaux plus équitables et plus responsables? ICTD, 8 June 2020.
Unpacking formalisation: The need for a new research agenda on taxation and the informal economy / Déballage sur la formalisation: nécessité d'un nouveau programme de recherche sur la fiscalité et l'économie informelle, ICTD, 21 April 2020. With Max Gallien.
To fight COVID-19, only the formal economy is getting tax breaks. The informal economy may be asked to foot the bill / Pour lutter contre la Covid-19, seule l'économie formelle bénéfice des allègements fiscaux. L'économie informelle pourrait être appelée à régler l'addition, ICTD, 8 April 2020. With Max Gallien.
Fill the gaps, feel the pain: Insights from Sierra Leone on an epidemic's impact on local taxation, public services, and the poor, African Arguments, 25 March 2020.
The political economy of tax incentives in low-income countries, ICTD, 14 January 2013.
Invited academic seminars and lectures
Workshop on Gendered Taxation, 8-11 November 2023 (Tutzing).
"Informal revenue generation and the state in Sierra Leone." Cambridge University, 28 June 2023 (Cambridge).
"Civil society, traditional authorities and progressive tax reform: Reflections from Sierra Leone." African Cities Research Consortium, 13 June 2023 (Manchester).
"Informal revenue generation and the state in Sierra Leone." Governance and Local Development Institute, 23 May 2023 (Tollered).
"Beyond greed: Why armed groups tax." University of British Columbia, 10 January 2023 (Vancouver).
"Informal taxation in Sierra Leone." University of Makeni, 15 December 2022 (Makeni).
"Research on informality and the state." Institute of Development Studies (IDS), 28 September 2022 (virtual).
"Taxation and state-building in weak states: The role of state and non-state actors." Tax Cap Dev Conference, 2 September 2022 (Bergen).
"Gender and informal taxation in low-income countries: Evidence from Sierra Leone." Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, 20 July 2022 (Munich).
"Equity and justice in taxation in the context of social development." Network of Impact Evaluation Researchers in Africa, 9 December 2021 (virtual).
"Informal taxation and community-driven development: Evidence from south-central Somalia." CMI Tax for Development Webinar, 11 May 2021 (virtual).
"Informal workers and the state: The politics of connection and disconnection during a global pandemic". Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (German Development Institute) Social Cohesion Week, 10 November 2020 (virtual). With Max Gallien.
"The Covid-19 crisis facing informal workers — what can be done?" IDS seminar, 15 July 2020 (virtual).
"Covid-19 and the informal economy: Responses, relief and reach". ICTD and IDS seminar, 16 April 2020 (virtual).
"The reality of sub-national taxation in conflict-affected states: The incidence and implications of informal taxation". Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance, 2018 (Toronto).
"Informal taxation in Sierra Leone". Working Group in African Political Economy International Meeting, 2018 (Abu Dhabi).
Policy and stakeholder engagement
FERDI Gender and Tax Workshop, 26 September 2023 (virtual).
"Taxing the informal economy: Policy, evidence and lessons for the future." OECD, WIEGO, ISSER, and ICTD, 4 April 2023 (virtual).
"Approaches to improve tax compliance in the informal sector." Nigerian State Internal Revenue Services and the African Centre for Tax and Governance, 21 February 2023 (Abuja)
"Taxer l'informalité: Expériences mondiales et pertinence pour l'Algérie". Algerian Ministry of Finance, 16 November 2022 (virtual).
"Customs' role in state building in fragile and conflict-affected situations" (discussant). World Bank Global Tax Umbrella Program, 24 October 2022 (virtual).
"Mobile money taxation and informal workers: Evidence from Ghana's E-levy." Digital Financial Services and Tax Working Group, 4 October 2022 (virtual). With Nana Akua Anyidoho, Max Gallien, and Mike Rogan.
"Revenue policy and institutions: Institutional and technical perspectives" (discussant). IMF Fiscal Affairs Department Technical Workshop on Gender and Fiscal Issues, 21 September 2022 (Washington, DC).
"Somalia 101: Statebuilding and tax collection in Somalia." United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) Somalia 101 seminar series, 16 November 2021 (virtual).
"The informal sector and informal taxes." FCDO Tax and Development seminar series, 14 July 2021 (virtual).
"Equity implications of the co-provision of public education in Sierra Leone". NORRAG Domestic Financing: Tax and Education launch event, 23 November 2020 (virtual).
"Tax, gender, and Covid-19". African Tax Administration Forum 4th High-Level Tax Policy Dialogue, 27 August 2020 (virtual). In the linked video, panel begins at 2:14:00; presentation begins at 2:32:00.
"Do poor people pay tax? How public goods and services are actually financed in Africa?" United Kingdom Department for International Development internal seminar, 3 June 2019 (London).
"Gender, taxation and development: Building fair, equitable and accountable tax systems in low-income countries". Global Affairs Canada internal seminar, 2019 (Ottawa). With Wilson Prichard.
"Gender and informal systems of local public finance in Sierra Leone." United Nations Commission on the Status of Women's 63rd session, 2019 (New York).
"The effect of taxation on social mobilization and democratic governance". Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa Symposium, 2018 (Johannesburg).
"Progressive taxation: Overview of research findings and implications for civil society engagement". ICTD and Action Aid workshop, 2016 (Inhambane).
"Methodological challenges of researching tax and gender". ICTD Tax and Gender Colloquium, 2016 (Accra).
Roadblocks and revenues: New geographies of taxation in conflict, co-hosted by ICTD, Danish Institute of International Studies, and the Centre on Armed Groups. 15-17 May 2023, Copenhagen.
Sierra Leone Tax for Development conference, co-hosted by ICTD, Budget Advocacy Network, National Revenue Authority, and Ministry of Finance. 7-8 December 2022, Freetown.
TV coverage: AYV TV ("Wake up Salone"), 4 December 2022; SLBC ("The Podium"), 6 December 2022; AYV TV, 6 December 2022; SLBC ("News round up") 9 December 2022; SLBC ("Report on tax for development conference"), 12 December 2022
Radio coverage: Radio Democracy ("Good Morning Salone"), 4 December 2022; AfriRadio 5 December 2022
Newspaper coverage: Politico, "Freetown hosts tax for development conference," Mabinty M. Kamara, 5 December 2022; Fritong Post, "Tax conference underway", 6 December 2022; Gleaner News Extra, "ICTD holds two days conference on improving tax policy", 8 December 2022; Freetown Daily Newspaper/ Standard Times, "Tax for development conference opens in Freetown", Mohamed Konneh, 8 December 2022; Owl Press, "Sierra Leone hosts Tax for Development conference in Freetown," Dauda Musa Bangura, 8 December 2022; Politico, "Tax court underway", 9 December 2022; Freetown Daily Newspaper/ Standard Times, "BAN ICTD ends tax for development conference", Mohammed Konneh, 10 December 2022; Politico SL, "Sierra Leone announces the setting-up of a tax court", Ruth Yeabu Sesay, 10 December 2022; The Calabash, "Tax for development conference organized by BAN/ ICTD ends in Freetown," Amin Kef, 12 December 2022; Mano Reporters, "Sierra Leone: Conference on taxation ends with calls for equity in tax system", Kemo Cham, 13 December 2022; Concord Times, "BAN, ICTD, NRA hold tax for development conference," Hassan Gbassay Koroma, 15 December 2022.
American Political Science Association (APSA) annual meeting
2023 (Los Angeles): "Formalisation and its discontents: Conceptual fallacies and ways forward"; Discussant, "Rebels and citizens"
2022 (Montréal): "Informal labour taxes in Sierra Leone"; Chair, "The politics of informal taxation"
2021 (virtual): "Between tax and charity: Zakat in times of Covid-19"
2020 (virtual): "Informal tax institutions and statebuilding: Evidence from Sierra Leone"
Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE) annual conference
2023 (virtual): "Social protection, community participation and state-citizen relations: Evidence from a cash transfer program in south-central Somalia"
2021 (virtual): "Between tax and charity: Zakat in times of Covid-19"; "Tracking Covid-19’s Impact on Tax in Africa: Formal and Informal Tax Burdens, Tax Attitudes, and the Reach of Tax Relief"
International Association for Feminist Economics (IAFFE) annual conference
2023 (virtual): "Roundtable on conceptual and methodological advances in gender and taxation"
Development Studies Association (DSA) annual conference
2023 (Reading): "Taxation and social protection in Accra's informal sector at the intersection of two crises"
2021 (virtual): "Informal workers and the state: The politics of connection and disconnection"; "Between tax and charity: Zakat in times of Covid-19"
European Conference of African Studies (ECAS)
2023 (Cologne): "Social protection, community participation and state-citizen relations: Evidence from a cash transfer program in south-central Somalia"
2015 (Paris): "Informal taxation in conflict-affected states"
African Studies Association (ASA) annual meeting
2022 (Philadelphia): "Labour tax and development in Sierra Leone"; Chair, "Historical and contemporary taxation in Sierra Leone"
2021 (virtual): "A tax by any other name: Conceptions and perceptions of taxation"
2020 (virtual): "Hybrid outcomes of formal and informal taxation: Informal revenue generation as patrimonial resource distribution in Sierra Leone"
International Studies Association (ISA) annual meeting
2022 (Nashville): "Why do armed groups tax?"; Discussant, "The politics and dynamics of armed group taxation"
2021 (virtual): "Informal taxation and community-driven development: Experimental evidence from south-central Somalia"; "Informal revenue concessions as patrimonial resource distribution in Sierra Leone"
2021 (virtual): "Co-financing community-driven development through informal taxation: Experimental evidence from south-central Somali"
National Tax Association (NTA) annual conference
2021 (virtual): "Co-financing community-driven development through informal taxation: Experimental evidence from south-central Somalia"
Canadian Association of African Studies (CAAS) annual conference
2021 (virtual): "Informal labour taxes in Sierra Leone in historical context: Shifting norms of the legitimacy of mandatory unpaid labour"
Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), University of Oxford
2021 (virtual): "Hybrid financing models, informal taxation, and community-driven development: Experimental evidence from south-central Somalia"
American Economic Association (AEA) annual meeting
2021 (virtual): "Hybrid tax collection and public goods provision in Somalia: Building the state through informal revenue generation"
International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD) Annual Centre Meeting
2019 (Kigali): "The micro-links between taxation and accountability initiatives", "Informal taxation: Policy approaches and implications"; "Informal taxation, accountability, and tax morale: Baseline findings from Somalia"
2016 (Addis Ababa): "Informal taxation: What have we learned?"
2014 (Arusha): "‘Real’ taxation in Sierra Leone"
2013 (Lomé): "Researching informal taxation in Sierra Leone"
2011 (Brighton): "Building effective tax systems in post-conflict states: Questions, challenges and trends"
The Economics of Informality Conference
2018 (Bogotá): "Informal taxation in Sierra Leone: Magnitudes, perceptions and implications"
World Bank Fragility, Conflict and Violence Forum
2016 (Washington): "Informal Taxation, Fiscal Decentralization and Post-Conflict Institution Building"
International Peace Research Association Conference
2016 (Freetown): "Informal taxation and post-conflict institution building"
United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) Symposium on Taxation and Revenue Mobilization in Developing Countries
2016 (Helsinki): "Revenue mobilization in Conflict-Affected Developing Countries"
Households in Conflict Network (HiCN) conference
2015 (Toronto): "Informal Taxation in Conflict-Affected States"
World Customs Organization PICARD conference
2015 (Baku): "Profit, networks, and power: ‘Real’ governance and informality in cross- border trade in Sierra Leone"
African Tax Research Network (ATRN) Conference
2015 (Cape Town): "Taxation and post-conflict state building: Exploring informal taxation and its implications in Sierra Leone"
Centre for Poverty Analysis Symposium on Post-war Development in Africa and Asia
2014 (Colombo): "The pervasiveness and relative popularity of informal taxation in post- conflict Sierra Leone"
World Customs Organization Research Conference on Informality, International Trade, and Customs
2013 (Brussels): "International trade and the politics of informal taxation in post-conflict Sierra Leone"